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By BRIAN LANDMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 2, 2000
"You could see it happening. One, the press wasn't as good as it's been in the past, but it was all right tonight. When you expend that much energy to close a gap like that, it takes a lot out of you emotionally more than physically. But they sustained a lot of energy for a long time and they did a great job, but at the end we just had a little extra gas down the stretch." -- Teddy Dupay, UF sophomore guard, on UNC wearing down.
"I don't really think that was it. He's been around. I don't think they took him out. He knows how to play without fouling, charging, doing all of those things. If he had fouled out, it would have been a big difference." -- Dupay on whether UNC senior point guard Ed Cota picking up his fourth foul with 13:18 left was the turning point.
"We're going to have to play better, better than we played tonight, better than we've played the whole tournament. Michigan State was everybody's preseason No. 1, so it's going to be a tough one." -- Dupay on what it will take to win the national title Monday.
"In the first half, we fouled a lot. He was 6-of-9 from the free-throw line. Take away those free throws and he only had 10 points in the first half. In the second half, we did a better job of doubling (him) without fouling." -- UF sophomore center Udonis Haslem on holding UNC center Brendan Haywood to four second-half points.
"We're not going to wear you down the first 20 minutes. Maybe not the first 30 minutes. But over a 40-minute game, you're going to get tired sooner or later." -- Haslem on the strength of "BillyBall."
"Cota's a great player, but as the game wound down, he was on his knees." -- UF freshman forward Donnell Harvey
"No. We believe in each other. We fought back. Brett (Nelson) and Udonis hit some big shots and got us back in it. Momentum was just for us and we ran with it." -- Harvey on whether there was any concern when UNC took a 48-44 lead.
"For about four or five minutes of the basketball game, we played Florida basketball instead of North Carolina basketball. We stopped dictating the tempo that we wanted."
"They boxed out a little better. In the first half, they didn't really box out that well and I was just having an all-you-can-eat buffet on the boards." -- Haywood on his diminished impact after a strong first half.
"We have a lot of talent on this team. When we play defense like we played all tournament, and even tonight, we're capable of beating anybody. If we continue building on that, with the players we have coming back and the guys who are injured coming back and the freshmen (coming in), don't be surprised if you see us going to the next Final Four." -- Haywood on UNC's prospects.
"I was just a little bit more determined. I felt I had let my team down in the first half, so I wanted to come out and knock some shots down." -- UNC freshman guard Joseph Forte on his better play in the second half after going 0-for-5 in the first.
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